Egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Littleblessings, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. Littleblessings

    Littleblessings Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Greenville OH
    I have 5 hens 24-28 weeks. I started getting eggs a month ago. At the most 2-3 a day. Now I'm lucky to get 1 a day. I'm even leaving them shut in their coop and attached run because I thought maybe they had started laying while free ranging. But still 1 a day.

    It's starting to get down into 20's here at night. Could the temp cause them to stop laying right after they started? Will it be like this all winter?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    There is a natural slow down in production for most breeds during the winter months. Because this slow down is in the winter, most associate it with just temperature changes, but the reality is it is primarily related to the hours of daylight which happen to be shorter during the winter months. Do you have the option of having electricity in your coop? If so, a simple help for the winter production is to use supplemental lighting to bring the total hours of "light" for your birds to 12+ hours a day - a timer that kicks the light on at say 5 AM and off after sunrise - this allows the birds to still go to bed with the natural night fall.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto the change in daylight/darkness hours.

    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     

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